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March 3, 2020 10:55 am

Likud Seeking Defectors From the Left-Wing Bloc to Form Government

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Confetti falls as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands next to his wife Sara after speaking to supporters following the announcement of exit polls in Israel’s election at his Likud party headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 3, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen. – Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s spokesman Jonathan Urich said on Tuesday that the Likud Party is trying to convince members of the left-wing parties to defect to enable the forming of a government with at least 61 mandates.

“I believe that we will soon find the ‘missing ribs’ from the other bloc. There are already contacts with a number of Knesset members from the other side,” Urich told Army Radio.

“The guys on the other side understand that this is the right thing to do. The tune is different from [after the] April [election],” said Urich, according to Arutz Sheva.

“Netanyahu always watches the poll with Sarah and his children, but when the results were revealed we burst into the room. It was a moment of joy after a very difficult campaign,” he said, adding that Netanyahu would not delay his trial, which is scheduled to begin March 17.

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Two people frequently mentioned in Israeli media reports as candidates that the Likud would target are Blue and White MKs Zvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel, both former Netanyahu aides. However, Hauser tweeted on Tuesday that they had not been approached and would not be approached, and that “they know why.”

Another possible Likud target is MK Orly Levy-Abekasis, who heads the Gesher faction in the Labor-Gesher-Meretz alliance.

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